As we approach Mothering Sunday, for both men and women Mother’s Day is not always a day of joy and celebration. It can be a day that triggers many feelings of expectation, sadness, shame, confusion, insecurity, regret, guilt and angst. For men and women the “Mother Wound” can be a wound that will not heal and remains unhealed.
Whether our mothers are still with us or have transitioned, hidden heart ache and trauma has been hidden for too long. Use this time to dive deep and look at the energy surrounding this Rose wound and the dysfunctional relationship we may have had with our mothers and the dysfunctional coping mechanisms we adopted that may still lurk in the shadows.
Much has been written on the mother wound so when I hear someone say, “there were always difficulties between us”…”she was not there for me as a child”….”she was distant and cold”…”she was self absorbed”…or “she was emotionally absent”….there is the mother wound in all her glory coming to the surface longing to be healed.
So Love’s healing message from the Black Rose this month is this:
Wounds of the Mother are rising to be released.
Release all that is ready to be released in this now.
Mother’s wounds are rising both on a personal level and collective level and for the Earth herself. On this Mother’s Day, man or woman, can we be open and willing to take some time to look inside ourselves?
Can we be open and willing to look at our own experiences as a child growing up to identify any soft spots or hurt places where we may still be hurting by our relationship with our own mother?
For deep Heart and family healing, what I share here in this sacred space is from my own experiences and inner work of healing a mother and father wound. This is not about projecting blame or guilt, it is about understanding.
Although the wounds received from our mothers can be unintentional, the mother wound is often written about from the perspective of the difficult relationship between mother and daughter, but the mother wound also impacts men too.
Part of healing my own mother wound, I had to ask myself, could I as a mother inadvertently have wounded my own sons?
In men it can show itself in addictions such as alcohol and drug abuse, feeling lost, ambivalence towards women and getting into meaningless relationships and sex.
I write this as the mother who raised two boys as a full time working single parent with an absent father. They are grown men now, yet I also acknowledge that my own lack of emotional availability, self reliance and my physical absence to them at times could have contributed to consequences on their emotional well-being and forming relationships.
In no way am I saying single parents wound their children. We speak of generational healing and how unhealed wounds get carried from one generation to another. If we are mothers ourselves we need to acknowledge the impact of the mother wound could have had on men.
I acknowledge I have said to my boys as children when they were whining and crying, “stop being such a baby” or “big boys don’t cry”…..
I did not realise at the time I could have been shutting down their emotional expression.
Attempting to heal a Mother Wound through Confession
In December 2004 at the ages of 24 and 21, I wrote both my sons a letter of apology. I apologised to them both for the way I saw it as not being a good mother.
I apologised for all the things I had never done with them and the places I was not able to take them like other parents did with their kids due to lack of finances.
I apologised to them for being angry and yelling at them, but most of all I apologised for never telling them enough when they were growing up I loved them…..
I told them I realised how all the things I had done and not done, and how they could have suffered as a result of my suffering.
I told them it got me to thinking how I had treated them and spoken to them, and the way I had been treated and spoken to by my mother and father when I was growing up and how it made me realise how painful and confusing that must have been for both of them.
I told them I hadn’t been able to cry for the little Linda yet, but I had cried oceans for them both.
I told them I had cried for being (in my eyes) the rotten, abusive, neglectful mother I had been.
I told them I had sobbed because I could not remember telling them often enough that I loved them, that I was proud of them, or how well they were doing.
I wasn’t able to tell them, because I had never been told that by my mother or told it to MYSELF.
I told them that out of it all it saddened me to think (blaming self) I had damaged their own lives, but the reality was they chose me as their mother to learn their own lessons in life.
At the end of them reading the letter there was stony silence.
They both looked at each other then me and said, “mum, this isn’t true. You are the best mum we could ever have because you are always there for us”…….
Without my awareness of it at the time, on hindsight I realised I was trying to heal a dysfunctional pattern and mother wound I may have inflicted on them out of ignorance.
Without realising it, I had learnt to be a supportive mother to my boys which my mother had not been for me in the way I needed it (through no fault of her own).
A Mother’s Day gift
Both of my sons were born on a Mothering Sunday three years apart. It has been a tradition for many years that the three of us come together to celebrate Mothering Sunday and their birthdays.
Although we missed coming together last year because of lockdown and we will miss this year too, it does not stop me from showing them how special they are. One of the most precious gifts I can give to my son’s now is my own emotional health and well-being and healing my own life’s hurts and Heart wounding.
Whether we recognise a mother wound in ourselves or not, can we look deeper into our own mother’s wounds?
Some of us may have had mothers who tried to show their love with gifts etc, yet lacked the ability to emotionally engage. No blame here. Only understanding, recognition, acknowledgement and healing.
Being raised in an authoritarian household I often got scolded by my father who said, “You have upset your mum”…another reinforcement to my wound of injustice as my mother shamed me and I did not know what I had done wrong. So the dysfunctional coping mechanism I adopted was being aloof and emotionally distant myself as my inner child felt unsafe and abandoned.
I was raised by an emotionally absent mother where there was a lack of nurturing and physical touch as she was often self absorbed in her own thoughts and worries. When I did try to speak out my confused feelings I was told “oh well never mind”. In later life I saw she showed her love in other ways in cards and gifts.
I would have loved to have a mother I could confide in and share my grief or worries with, but the dynamics that played out in my household as a child were the “authoritarian father” and the “victim mother”. In reverence to her, one memory I do remember was she helped with writing a letter to a boyfriend who had “ghosted” me when I was sixteen!
To heal my own mother wound I had to acknowledge and grieve the loss of a close bond I had never really had with my mother.
Sharing in “The Importance of Healing Core Wounds, it included seeing and ACCEPTING her as the person she was, not as the person I wanted her to be.
I had done nothing wrong (although in my eyes I believed I did) She was only capable of giving what she was able to give.
I also had to acknowledge that her emotional absence towards me was not my fault.
Was my mum undermothered? Maybe. Although she did have a closer parent/child relationship with my sibling.
Just because I did not receive a mother’s love in the way I wanted and needed it, it did not mean that she did not Love me or I was unlovable or not deserving of Love. My inner child had interpreted it another way and that my mum was not there for me..
In “The Importance of Healing Core Wounds”, the healing and change came when I realised and ACCEPTED she gave the best she was capable of giving. Although travel distance meant I did not see her in person, I could still have a “relationship” with her on the telephone at the level we were both able to give.
In healing the wound, I also had to piece together my mother’s life and upbringing after the death of her own father when she was three years old. Her mother, a widow at the time, got pregnant out of wedlock and had to marry. Where did my mother fit in with “mother’s nurturing and attention” having a new baby in the household and a step father?
In the war years she was a “Wren” and buried under the rubble when the Naval College she was at received a direct hit from a German bomb. When my mother was twenty six her own mother died six weeks before she got married to my dad. Losing her own mother at a young age, my mother did not receive any support in how to bring up and parent a child.
Whilst as parents we are responsible for our own children’s emotional well-being, I also acknowledge her emotional absence was not her fault. Whilst some sons and daughters may have felt unloved or didn’t belong, it is often compounded in the way we interpreted it as a child that then created our own dysfunctional coping mechanisms.
I shared the relationship I had with both my parents in “The Importance of Healing Core Wounds”. There is no blame towards my father or mother, for they both did the best they could with the beliefs they had inherited from their mothers and the circumstances in life they were handed.
The unhealed Wound
Whether we are parents ourselves or not, have we inherited beliefs and behavioural patterns what our mother was not able to heal herself?
Did she too experience emotional absence in her upbringing by her own mother?
Did she lack nurturing and good enough mothering from her own mother?
The mother wound has far reaching consequences into adult life which can contribute to toxic relationships to no relationships, to using food and alcohol to sooth our emotions…..to not feeling loveable and not feeling good enough which impacts our self esteem.
Man or woman, what is the relationship you have/had with your mother?
Are you aware of your mother wound getting triggered when you are in other relationships?
Who were the role models you had in childhood for romantic relationships? For example, having an emotionally absent mother I unconsciously attracted emotionally unavailable men in my relationships.
However, I had to recognise and accept the part I played. Unconsciously, I did not want to fully commit to another for fear of getting hurt.
The mother wound remains unhealed until we can really connect with the energy around ourselves, our mother and even her mother.
We are not our mothers, even though we may have had thoughts and beliefs that “I don’t want to end up like my mother” only to find ourselves that we can be just like our mothers!
If our mothers were emotionally absent, over demanding, dismissive, rejecting, critical or controlling, for healing to take place we have to separate ourselves from our mothers and find ways to sooth ourselves.
Whether we are looking to our mother or to another for our need to feel nurtured, we are looking in the wrong place. Many, women in particular, are moving away from the patriarchal “God” and turning to the Mother and Mother within as a source for nurturing.
We are all sons and daughters of a mother and we are sons and daughters of the Mother. To get into and connect with the energy of Mother’s Day to recognise or heal our mother wounds or the primal wound of separation from adoption, we need to be honest with ourselves.
Wounds of the Mother are rising to be released
What did the care look like that you received as a child?
Did you get your needs met?
Did you receive love and hugs and were you told “I Love you”.
Did your mother (or father) listen to what you had to say with empathy, or were you scolded and dismissed?
Were you harshly criticized or judged?
Were you abused or neglected?
Were you told you needed to toughen up because you were too sensitive?
What did your childhood experiences with your parents look like and how did this affect you growing up and moving into adult life?
What were the emotional hurts you received? Brothers and Sisters of the Rose…..identifying these are a first step to healing them.
Did you have to be a “good girl or boy” to be accepted and approved of?
If you showed anger at anything, were you punished?
Did your mother die when you were a young child?
If this article has resonated with you in any way, please share your comments below. If you want to heal your Rose Wound, please get in touch via the Contact Page above.
In Love, Grace and Service,